Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inspired by Kidney Donation

It was December 23, 1954 and Ronald Herrick was preparing to give the best Christmas gift to his brother Richard Herrick; the gift of life. Richard was Ronald’s twin brother and his kidneys had stopped working. Richard was dying. Ronald did it even though he knew he could die too. Organ donation had never been attempted before and nobody, not even the doctors, were sure it would work. Ronald was prepared to take that risk so his brother may life. He did and Richard lived another 8 years. Ronald and Richard made history that day. Thanks to them and those pioneering doctors, today we know have the opportunity to live longer and happier lives thanks to the advances in organ transplantation. Ronald died December 27, 2010.
Every year we are bombarded to buy, buy and buy even more. It is so refreshing to hear about those gifts that keep on giving. Recently my husband and I filled out our living wills and formally documented our desire to donate our organs once we have passed. I encourage everyone to consider giving the gift of life. For more information contact:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Inspired by Flight Delays

So today was one of those days when I woke up on the bad side of the attitude bed. I am fighting a cold along with my teething nine-month-old son. The ominous black cloud began to form over my head and by 7:55 AM it was pouring down on me. That was the exact moment when I remembered my son’s 8:00 AM doctor’s appointment. The next 10 minutes was spent running around the house trying to get me and my son dressed. In record time I was driving away and smiling that we might not be that late. Then the rain began to pour even harder when I remembered the doctor’s office just moved and I had no idea where the new office was. Of course they had a recording that only restarted if you pushed the zero key. Nice. I finally make contact with the front desk and attempted to take directions from a receptionist that didn’t know her right from her left or North, South, East or West coordinates. I managed to make it and was assured I would still have an appointment. The rain lets up.
The day only progressed to worsen as the doorbell rings when I am in the shower,  the cat cries at the door (still doesn’t know how to use the cat door), the phone rings and my son screams awake from his nap and then spends the next hour inconsolable crying. To top it all off I have a migraine. My frustration is at its peak. Then I read about those who are stuck in an airport trying to make it home for the holidays and the snow is making it impossible. I guess snow is worse than rain.
When the world seems to be raining down on me I like to think about “what could make my situation worse?” That usually brightens my mood and I thank God I don’t have those problems. So, I could be stranded in an airport with a cold and a nine-month-old teething son who is crying inconsolably. Yes, I have no problems!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Inspired By Those Who Sacrifice Their Dreams
Most people these days are more concerned with achieving their dreams than worrying about who it hurts in the process. Open the newspaper and mostly what you read are stories of people who have nothing to talk about but themselves; what they want, what they need, what they feel…. I think this is why the stories of sacrifice and selflessness stand out to me. Just such is the case when I read about Keith Fitzhugh who said thanks but no thanks to the New York Jets. He has a job, a good job and it supports his parents. They have hid hard times since his father, Keith Sr., became disabled and unable to work.
It shocked the entire sports community. It made 3rd page news in the sports section. Fitzhugh could care less about the spotlight; his main concern is that steady paycheck. He is looking to ensure his parents enjoy the final years of their lives by supporting them financially. One might think that professional sports could make that happen, but it’s a gamble. When the stakes are too high you don’t make that gamble. Way to go Keith Jr.! A true man in my book.
One thing I have found, destiny will find a way. Walking away from an opportunity for the right reasons indicates an even bigger reward down the line. Maybe not monitary but a grand reward just the same.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inspired By Flag Presentation Practice

Today, my husband and I were driving on post. We drove past a few soldiers gathered outside a building. I didn’t think much of it but my husband commented “that is so sad.”
I was instantly confused and asked “why do you say that?”
“They are practicing presenting the American flag for a funeral.”
The truck became quiet and we both retreated to our thoughts. I began to remember all the funerals I had attended and most recently my Grandfather’s. The presentation of the flag is an honorable experience, and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
Just a few moments before we were talking about Christmas and gifts we still needed to buy. Somewhere, someone is grieving the loss of their loved one. I looked at my husband and silently said a prayer that the day never comes for me to accept his flag.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inspired to Donate

What goes around comes around. It is a saying I know well but never before attributed to giving. I always thought of it as Karma or treat others as you wish to be treated. I have donated sporadically throughout my adult life. In my mind it was always easier just to donate than waste my Saturday trying to sell my stuff. Besides, I knew it went to help others and some years I was able to claim it on my annual income taxes. I never did it for the money as much as I did it for the convenience.
This year I decided it was time to start donating to a charity on a regular basis. Making a monthly charitable donation to the Joyce Meyer Ministries has been a very rewarding experience personally. I have never been one to give to a ministry, but they are doing some really great things both here and abroad to help those less fortunate. I decided to go ahead and commit to a specific amount each month.
Recently I have begun to notice some interesting things. I have a rule of not buying too much stuff for my son. He grows way too fast and I hate waste; I want to make sure everything he has gets used. I was all set on clothes until this last growth spurt. He grew out of his winter supply and I was faced with a child wearing 18 to 24 month clothes and he is only eight months old!
A few days later my friend called me and said she had some clothes for Ian that her neighbor gave her. They turned out to be just his size and for the winter months. I remarked later how coincidental it was that I received something just when I needed it. She laughed and explained how the universe brings back to you what you send out, “it’s the law!” Hmmm. Never thought of it like that.
I am not one to expect anything in return when giving to charity. I always thought the warm and fuzzy feeling inside was my gift for giving. I never did it with the intention of what I would receive in return, but it is a nice surprise. I wonder what more I could do??

Monday, December 6, 2010

Inspired to Clean Out the Garage

I was at a party a few years back in this home located in a very affluent neighborhood. The owners had booked a live band, served expensive hors d’oeuvres and had the entire home beautifully decorated. I was looking for the bathroom when I happened to open the door to the garage. In front of me was a sight I will never forget. It was either a three or four car garage and it was filled about chest high with stuff. There were boxes, lamps, furniture, clothes and who knows what else. I couldn’t believe the amount of junk piled in one location. I quickly shut the door and decided to stop looking for the bathroom.
I never fully understood how someone could allow that to happen. Then I got married and my junk mixed with my husband’s junk and it was very surprising how fast we filled extra storage space. We donated quite a bit of stuff but our garage continued to accumulate stuff. Recently we purchased a freezer. I was thinking it would be no big deal since we had plenty of room in the garage.
The night before it was to be delivered we decided to make a path for the freezer to come through. After moving boxes and junk to one side, I realized how much we had. I began to feel exhausted just looking at the mess. We decided to get rid of stuff. Most of the things we have are not worthless; they just aren’t being used anymore. I took pictures of what I wanted to get rid of and posted it on Craigslist (love this site).
Today I sold one of the boxes cluttering up the garage. As I watched the stranger carry it to their car, I smiled. I may never have the most clutter-free garage, but I know I won’t be concerned about anyone accidentally looking in.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Inspired To Deviate From the Plan

My husband and I enjoy a wonderful relationship until we go on a road trip. I am fascinated by the side roads and small towns. Since we are on vacation, why not travel off the main highway and experience these unique treasures. Unfortunately, my husband does not feel the same way. He wants to drive straight from point A to point B. My suggestions are not greeted with great enthusiasm. Never mind the interesting places we have visited in the past, he only remembers the one time we ended up having to back track three hours due to road construction.
 While I can appreciate taking the road most traveled, I enjoy feeling the strong emotions, both positive and negative, that come with deviations from the plan. I have always held the belief that sometimes feeling the need to take that last minute detour could be a sign from God. Am I avoiding a crash or destined to help out a stranded motorist? One may never know for sure, but it never hurts to be open to the possibility.
I read this story about three teenage boys who “borrowed” a boat and found themselves stranded in the ocean for over 50 days. They survived on coconuts, rain water and a seagull that happened to land on their boat. The story gets better when it is revealed that the fishing boat that discovered them wasn’t even supposed to be going that way. According to Tai Fredricsen, first mate on the San Nikunau, “We generally don’t take this route and we were following the fastest line to New Zealand.”
The change in plans is now seen as a miracle by everyone involved.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspired to Talk About Christmas

I don't understand why people don’t want to say Merry Christmas. Really? What is the difference of saying Happy Christmas versus Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Thanksgiving? They are all names of the day on a calendar year. I wonder if in a few years on December 25th calendars will read Holiday instead of Christmas Day. Can you imagine anything so sad? What will we call it when Christmas comes? Okay kids, let's open your holiday presents! How wrong is that?
This year I intend to tell everyone I see, Merry Christmas! This is a wonderful time of year and I won’t let the minority tell me how to celebrate it!